As specialist doctors in dermatology, we have expertise in the treatment of skin, hair and nail ailments. We are also specialised in the treatment of venereal diseases (sexually transmitted diseases), and allergies. Furthermore, through our continuing further education in the fields of tropical dermatological medicine and laser treatment (e.g. removal of haematomas) we are able to offer expert advice and treatment. Medical treatment costs will be calculated using the Tarmed system which is covered by the Krankenkasse (health insurance) or supplementary insurance.

medical | medical treatments

This list covers the most common medical conditions, and the possible treatments offered by the derma competence center , and are only examples of the wide spectrum of our expertise.

Allergies (Eczema, Hay Fever)

Allergies and their associated symptomology (such as hay fever, hives, neuro-dermatitis, and eczema) are common and widely experienced. We offer comprehensive testing to understand an individual’s susceptibility to allergens, e.g. pollens (hay fever), animal hair, mould, dust mites, foodstuffs, medicines, and contact allergens (metals, tooth filling materials, cosmetics, perfumes, etc.). This is followed by specialised advice and treatment. As well as using modern medicines that alleviate the symptoms with no, or minimal side effects, we have also had great success in alleviating allergic reactions with anti-allergy injections (hypo-sensitisation).

Birth marks (Hamangiomata)

Hamangiomata are caused by the malformation of fine blood vessels beneath the top surface of the skin which leads to a large red spot on the skin. This can sometimes also be swollen. When a bundled laser light is applied to the haematoma, concentrated light is absorbed by the blood in the vessels, leading to the generation of heat, whereby the blood vessels become permanently closed, no longer allowing blood to flow through them, causing the red spot to fade. The small remnants of the blood vessels will be fully assimilated by the body. Generally, a number of treatments will be required at approximately four-week intervals to obtain an optimal result. Often the cost of this treatment will be covered by invalid insurance (Invalidenversicherung), as this is considered a birth defect.

Cryogenic therapy (freezing of warts and skin tumours)

Cryogenic freezing therapy has long been successfully used to treat benign tumours and warts, actinic keratosis, and haematoma. A cold application of liquid nitrogen, either sprayed or directly applied, destroys the unwanted lesion, in one or a few appointments. The treatment is slightly uncomfortable with no side effects and easily tolerated by patients. The therapy cost is borne by the insurance.

Curettage (the removal of skin by scraping)

Curettage is the removal of small areas of skin that have experienced a change, using a sharp spoon or scraper. This procedure is normally carried out under a mild local anaesthetic, or cryogenic (cold) anaesthetic. This method offers the patient the advantage that the wound does not need to be stitched, which allows the wound to heal quickly, does not require the removal of stitches, and only rarely causes scarring. This method is used to obtain small samples of material that can be analysed histologically to determine if the skin change is benign or malignant.

Eczema (neuro-dermatitis, hand, foot and body eczema)

Eczema is caused when the skin becomes inflamed, and can occur anywhere on the body. It has a number of causes. It is important to discover the cause of the inflammation, which is determined via allergy testing, and laboratory microbiological or blood analysis. Different causes of eczema will result in differing treatments. The treatment depends upon the location and the severity of the problem. Treatment options include creams and lotions, tablets, injections, and/or light therapy. The use of cortisone creams can normally be completely avoided. Dietary changes can also lead to a successful outcome.

Hair loss (men and women)

Hair loss can be an enormous psychological problem for both men and women. Patients are often concerned that they will lose all, or most of their hair. Through a focused diagnostic programme, the precise cause of the hair loss (alopecia) can be determined through hair root analysis (trichogram), hair analysis, analysis of the scalp, and special blood analysis. The results of these analyses will lead to a treatment program and continued follow-up.

Hyperhydrosis (treatment of excessive sweating)

Excessive sweating (hyperhydrosis), for example in the underarm region, is more than just uncomfortable for the sufferer, it can be a massive problem for the unfortunate people affected. It is often embarrassing, requiring the sufferer to change clothes often to maintain dignity and hygiene. Today, the condition can be controlled by the use of botulin injections in the upper skin surface. The treatment delivers relief from the condition for 6 to 9 months. The injections can be carried out on an outpatient basis, and are practically painless. The cost can be partially covered by the Krankenkasse or an additional insurance.

Light therapy (UV therapy):

The ancient Egyptians used the healing properties of UV light. In the present day, we use the different wave lengths of the light spectrum to selectively treat different skin ailments. The use of UV light allows the reduction of medications, such as cortisone, and, in some cases, even total elimination of medication in the treatment of certain conditions. Light therapy is particularly useful in the treatment of psoriasis, Vitiligo and neuro-dermatitis (actinic eczema). We use state-of-the-art instruments from the firm Waldmann where we can select the most productive wave length to offer the best possible therapy. The short treatment time means appointments can be organised on a very flexible schedule. Light therapy is covered by all health insurance companies.

Nail ailments (growth problems, fungal nail infections)

Changes in the appearance of nails can have a number of causes, although fungal nail infection is the most common. Other possible causes are psoriasis vulgaris, Lichen ruber, or eczema and associated deficits of vitamins . Although fungal nail infections have a high occurrence, treatment is often sought too late because the illness causes no medical issues and only looks unattractive. Therapy can only be undertaken when a complete diagnosis of the problem is made, so that the correct treatment can be found. The close cooperation with our contract laboratory allows us to quickly identify the culprit organisms (via microbiological culture analysis), and develop an effective targeted therapy using modern oral treatments. New treatments for fungal nail infections have recently been developed using laser technology

Photodynamic therapy (for benign types of skin cancer, and their precursors)

Certain types of benign skin cancer and their precursors (actinic keratosis and Mobus Bowen) can be gently treated by photo-dynamic therapy. A light-sensitive cream is applied to the affected area and protected by a light- and air-impermeable plaster for approximately 3 hours. The affected area is then exposed to a specific wavelength in the red spectrum for few minutes. The treatment causes a localised reaction in the problem cells without affecting the healthy cells in the area. The treated area will form a small scab and the unhealthy cells will be rejected by the body after a few days. The PDT treatment is almost painless, and does not leave any scarring. The treatment is recognised by health insurance companies. For basal cell resistant lesions, two treatments will be required.

Psoriasis

This ailment is found throughout the general population and is often persistent in families as it can be genetically inherited. As the skin problems can often be very visible, it can cause the sufferer distress on a daily basis. There are a number of possible therapies, ranging from the traditional use of creams normally based on cortisone, alternative creams containing vitamin D, light therapies, and new oral treatments based on microbiology.

Skin cancer check-ups (e.g. melanoma)

After treatment for skin cancer, it is essential that check-up examinations are carried out at very regular intervals (the intervals will be determined by the type of cancer). These controls will be of the total body, the lymph nodes, the tumour site and the body’s inner organs. This will be coordinated with the GP, other specialists, hospitals and university clinics. The latest control protocols will be strictly followed. The thorough examination of the skin will use a polarized dermatoscopy. Computer-aided analysis and the possibility to store digital images of moles and birthmarks allows us to compare images with those stored on the university clinic’s database, and estimate the level of ‘malignancy’ individual lesions may have. Our office computer system will ensure that no follow-up appointments will be missed.

Skin cancer prevention (birth marks and moles, skin check-up)

The incidence of skin cancer in the population continues to increase. Switzerland has the highest number of cases in Europe per head of population. An early identification of skin cancer will lead to a complete recovery. In the derma competence center, we carry out a check-up system, and, if necessary, rapidly perform the required therapy. The thorough examination of the skin will use a polarized dermatoscopy. Computer-aided analysis and the possibility to store digital images of moles and birth marks allows us to compare images with those stored on the university clinic’s database and estimate the level of ‘malignancy’ individual lesions may have. Every year we take part in the national skin cancer day organised by the Krebsliga (cancer association), where we carry out free check-ups. Skin cancer precautionary check-ups are meaningful for every age group and should be carried out once per year. These are fully covered by the Krankenkasse (health insurance).

Skin surgery (removal of malignant and benign skin changes)

Dermatological surgery is the operation to remove malignant and benign changes to the skin. Most of these operations are prophylactic. These operations cover the feared melanoma, but also the less dangerous Spinaliom and Basaliom and their precursors. The removal of any skin changes will be carried out in our highly-equipped operating facility. Examination of the skin and mucous membrane will determine the best operative method to employ. For example (Shaveexzisions, Flaps, Exstirpations from Cysts and Lipoms) may all be used. Any necessary wound care and wound dressing changes will be carried out, to ensure full and speedy recover, and, of course, any wound stitching will be undertaken to ensure the best aesthetic outcome for the patient.

Skin tumours (black and white skincancer)

Skin tumours can be both benign, and malignant and life threatening. Classical operative removal is the only therapy possible for malignant melanoma tumours. Other tumour forms, for example basal cell carcinoma, can now be treated with less invasive treatment using gels and ointments, or via dynamic photo-therapy. These alternative treatments frequently lead to excellent cosmetic results provided an accurate diagnosis was made. Use of our patient recall system can ensure that the patient receives the required check-up examination.

Venereology/sexually transmitted diseases

Although not necessarily expected, the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases is still increasing. The diseases cause changes to the mucous membranes and also cause skin rashes which require specialist dermatological treatment. Severe health problems can be avoided if a targeted examination is carried out to determine the correct diagnosis and subsequent treatment. Patients are often very reluctant to seek medical treatment, finding it a difficult and uncomfortable experience. Through our specialist training in venereology (from Venus: goddess of love), we are properly equipped to help treat the medical issues in a sensitive and competent manner to prevent the possibility of other people being infected.

Warts (on hands, feet and on the body)

Warts are skin changes caused by transmittable viruses and can take a number of forms (e.g. thorn warts, flat or finger shaped). If they are left untreated or not properly treated, they can become an infestation. Treatment can involve tincture, removal and/or laser treatment. Treatment depends upon the type of warts, the age of the patient and the extent of the infection.

In this section, please find an overview of the instruments at our disposal and the different treatments and therapies that are carried out.

Digital dermatoscopy

DermoscanDigital dermatoscopy — ultra HD video dermatoscopy with 5 megapixal camera:
Using this technology, we are able to create a highly accurate map of skin lesions and create a digital microscopic dermoscopy map that can detect minute changes in the skin (e.g. birth marks or moles) when compared to earlier images. The system also offers software that allows us to examine suspect lesions and differentiate between benign and malignant lesions.
Further information can be found at: www.dermoscan.de

Skin surgery

Skin surgery is the operative removal of malignant and benign changes in the skin. These procedures are carried out in our specially-prepared surgery. The method varies according to the structure of the lesion and will be undertaken using a local anaesthetic. A more precise discussion with the patient will take place prior to the procedure, including wound aftercare.

Cryogenic therapy

Cryosuccess-treatment_bCryogenic therapy is carried out using Cryosucess (registered trademark) – Liquid Freezing System. This is an effective treatment for everyday dermatological conditions like warts, actinic keratosis and many other problems. The cryo instrument works using the gas expansion principle, where liquid N2O (nitrous oxide) is sprayed via a micro-capillary tube directly onto the sight to be treated at minus 89 degrees C. This precise delivery system ensures that there is no damage to the skin’s structure, or any biological system. The procedure leaves no scar, is relatively painless, and suitable for the treatment of children and sensitive patients without the requirement of administering an anaesthetic.
Further information is available at: www.ump.ag

Laboratory testing

Through his specialist training, Dr. Schnitzler is able to carry out many of the tests required in the derma competence center, particularly those required for fungal nail infections. Other required tests will be carried out with our partner, Medica Lab, in Zurich, with whom we have a close working relationship. The patient can, if so desired, choose a time that is convenient for them for the blood sample to be taken, as arrangements with the laboratory will have already been made. If required, the laboratory report can be delivered to the doctor in charge of treatment by express delivery.Further information is available at: www.medica-labor.ch

LED-Dermatoskopy

HeineWe do the Dermatoskoipy ( microscopic skin analysis ) by means of HEINE® precision optics . This high-quality achromatic optical system provides sharp and high-resolution images of suspicious lesions . By focusing a 10- to 16 -times magnification is achieved for the detailed view of even the smallest structures and the new LED lighting provides an absolutely homogeneous and bright light with colour reproduction for each examination situation . More information here: www.heine.com

Light therapy

uv-1000-full-body.mth40121_200_200The derma competence center uses a Walmann UV Cabin 1000 for light therapy treatments. The instrument emits a UV light with a very selective wavelength, which is highly effective in treating chronic skin conditions, eczema, (Vitiligo and psoriasis. The treatment, which can be carried out a number of times per week, will start with short term exposure, which can be increased with time.
Further information is available at: www.waldmann.com

Photo dynamic therapy:

AktiliteThe derma competence center offers a standardised photo dynamic therapy using the medication Metvix (registered trade mark) and the Aktilite (registered trade mark) lamp supplied by Galderma (registered trade mark). This standardised procedure offers the best possible therapeutic results with minimum risk of side effects. During the therapy, an added cold air stream blown on to the treatment site makes the treatment more comfortable and reduces any pain that may develop. Further information is available at: www.galderma.de

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